Mayor Ed Lee convened a gathering of the City’s housing stakeholders at City Hall last Wednesday to announce his full support of a $250 million housing general obligation bond this November. His statement opened with, “As you know, we’re in a crisis.” There’s not much disagreement with that! The purpose of the meeting was primarily for describing in general terms what the funds would be used for (the meeting’s presentation can be found below). Because the housing bond would fit in the City’s regular capital plan schedule, it would not raise property taxes, because the new debt would be incurred as older debt was retired, keeping property taxes constant.
This badly-needed funding would be split into three buckets:
- Continue the rebuilding and rehabilitation of our disastrous public housing;
- Build new low-income housing;
- Assist first-time homebuyers.
Passing the bond at the ballot requires a two-thirds vote, a challenging threshold to meet. The last attempt at a housing bond came in 2004 under Mayor Gavin Newsom. It failed after receiving 64.7 percent of the vote, a bitter defeat for housing activists, including SFHAC.
The SFHAC and the entire spectrum of the City’s housing community agrees on the urgent need for more funding to support housing affordability. A campaign to pass the housing bond would unite all of the parties to work together, a fairly rare occurrence.
SFHAC STRONGLY supports the bond’s passage and we urge you to inform your friend’s about its importance!
Image credit: AIA San Francisco